Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LEL Registration

[My experience of LEL registration last weekend]

One of Britain’s greatest cycling challenges
A ride from London to Edinburgh and back
Covering 1400 kms in 116 hours
Through Britain’s most beautiful scenery.

It is been two years 
After the 1200km Paris Brest Paris
The legs are now itching 
For another long one.

Seats limited to a few hundred,
Will I make it, I wondered?
Everyone wants to apply
But demand exceeds supply.
The whole world wants to ride
Registration a big flood tide.

The challenge commenced 
Not for the legs, but the hands
Everyone very tensed
“Who has the fastest fingers?”

Tickets sold in three slots 
One hundred and fifty in a lot
I need be faster than
The Tour-de-France sprinter
On my hands, not the legs.

Purchase proves daunting
With server capacity wanting
I soon discover 
That it goes frequently undercover.

A little after Sunday midnight
The first slot opened 
Like bulls rushing out
Mad frenzy on the keyboard
More dangerous than the sword
Everybody clicked on register
The icon whirred and whirred
“Internal Server Error” 
It said before it died.

Heart racing
Fingers pounding
Keyboard jolting
Packets racing
Router pulsating
I feverishly typed
But bits go to nowhere
404- Server found

A few minutes later 
It was pure silence 
The message on the screen
“All slots sold out”
Just two minutes it took to quash
Two years of eager waiting. 

A few hours later 
Slot two opened
Far worse it turned out to be
Sold out before I started.

Angry and upset
Wish I had a curette
Would have committed a crime
If not for the one last time.

Now very sharp and agile
All senses peaked, a moment of Zen
I could sense the link opening one last time.

Clicking faster than light
I reversed time
The packets made it in
A sweet sublime.

Victorious at last 
I have made it to the start line,
The real fun begins end of July
The ride to the finish line
My longest one, that I hope will be divine.